Petland Tyler
4512 S Broadway Ave a1
Tyler, TX 75703
(903) 561-3142

Date and time of CAPS investigation: 4/19/23, 1158

Approximate number of dogs and puppies observed at time of investigation: One dog and about 60 puppies

Puppies were in aquarium-like enclosures in a wall on one side of the store. There were about 30 enclosures total, with one row stacked above the other. Each enclosure had a treated wire flooring, water bottle, toys, and a clear wall on one side for customers to see inside. Some had a blanket partially covering the flooring, while others did not. There were one to four puppies per enclosure, of various breeds, though one enclosure contained a five-year-old female French Bulldog.

The Bulldog sat on her hindquarters with her rear legs in front of her, on her wire flooring and next to an unused blanket. She faced away from customers and shivered perpetually. When I approached her enclosure and put a hand up to the clear wall, she briefly looked in my direction before looking away, and would not look back towards me like the puppies did when customers approached them.

Employee’s lies:

I briefly spoke to a worker (Caucasian male, about 55 years old, 5’8″, 230 lbs., with a bald head, long grey beard and moustache, and glasses) about puppies, and he told me, “All of the dogs here come from the top two percent USDA breeders from the United States.” He also said, “Over a quarter million dollars in background genetic research has been done on each one of the dogs here.”

Store manager’s lie about financing:

I also spoke to a man named Matt (Caucasian male, about 40 years old, 6’6″, 200 lbs., with short black hair), who identified himself as the store manager, about puppies. I asked him about financing for puppies, and he told me that there’s various options for having no-interest payments over months, and that APR can go up to 39% if there’s a “challenge” to my credit. He told me, “Remember, it’s unsecured lending. There’s no recourse for these guys. They can’t repossess your car. It’s not like a car or a bicycle.” As noted below is this report, this is a misleading lie.

Lies about breeders and AKC:

I also asked store manager Matt about where puppies come from. I told him I wanted to make sure they didn’t come from puppy mills, and he told me “So we only contract and use the top two percent USDA approved and inspected breeders in the entire country. There are two thousand licensed breeders.” I responded, “I don’t know what that means.” He explained, “There are two thousand USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture breeders that are licensed to actually breed in the United States of America. We have a stacked rank of the top forty that we use, from one through forty. If they’ve ever had a violation or anything like that, we sever contract with them. That’s never happened. These guys, you’ll see on the screen, they grow up on these beautiful, huge, sprawling ranches. Their rooms are bigger than this. They got heated floors. They got their own door outside. They’re socialized every single day from their birth until they get here with other dogs, kids, people. So, even with like new babies, you get into a room with them, they’re coming right up to you. They’re ready to play. They’re happy. They’re not cowering in the corner of the room, barking. So, with that temperament development in the first eight weeks is extremely important.” He then motioned to the adult French Bulldog and said, “And obviously she’s been well-developed, because she’s not eight weeks.”

I asked if breeders keep dogs in cages or have “like a hundred dogs,” and he answered, “No.” He told me the breeders are “all in the north,” including states like Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio. He then explained how many puppies at the store come from AKC champions. I asked if AKC makes sure kennels aren’t puppy mills, and he answered, “AKC is, it’s like the Tiffany’s of jewelry. It is the Tiffany’s of dog registration.”

As the manager explained how he claimed dogs lived, he motioned to a Petland video playing on a TV screen that showed dogs and puppies running and playing in grassy fields.

The manager also claimed that the store finds homes for all of its breeders’ retired dogs. He said, “We always find them a home. Every single one.”

French Bulldog

I asked the manager about the five-year-old French Bulldog, who he said was a retired breeding female from one of the store’s breeders. He said, “She’s potty-trained, all that stuff.” He said she was potty-trained because “she’d been used to going outside a lot.” I asked to see her, and despite everything he had just told me about how breeders socialize their dogs, he said, “She might be a little hesitant at first. Just remember, she’s been used to an environment for multiple years. She’s probably going to be like, what’s going on? She’s kind of just observing right now. She’s not going to have that young, crazy puppy energy, bouncing around.” I then asked, “Okay, but she’s socialized?” He said, “Yeah.”

He then opened her cage door and crouched down in front of her. She sat motionless, neither going towards him or moving away from him. He waited a few seconds and put a hand out to her but she didn’t move. When he pet her, she remained motionless, and after about 30 seconds of interacting with her, he picked her up. She was completely stiff as she was lifted. He brought her to me in a playroom and said that she was scared. She was then set on the floor with a couple of toys. She sniffed the toys briefly and then turned her head away from me, standing motionless. When I pet her, she did not react in any way. I put my hand in front of her and touched her nose, but she didn’t sniff it or follow my hand when I moved it away. I moved to different positions around her to pet her, but she didn’t adjust to face me as I did so, and instead stayed in place.

The manager then showed me paperwork on the dog when I requested it. It revealed she was AKC registered, and bred by Monroe Herschberger in Bloomfield, IA, USDA license 42-A-1647. I asked if she already had a name, and the manager said, “Nothing that she’s been socialized by.” He then said that she was given a name at the store, put in the system as “Nibbler.”

Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations by store

Regarding financing for puppies, the manager told me, “Remember, it’s unsecured lending. There’s no recourse for these guys. They can’t repossess your car. It’s not like a car or a bicycle.” While the loans Petland provides are unsecured loans in which collateral, such as cars and bicycles, are not put up, unsecured loans do have recourse. The lender can send the debt to a collection agency or sue the borrower. The manager’s statement is simply untrue.

The manager and employee’s statement about how the store buys from the “top two percent of USDA breeders” is misleading. The manager explained it comes from a list that store owner Luis Marquez arbitrarily creates. The USDA has no ranking standard of their breeders, and so Marquez claims that commercial breeders he personally ranks and can purchase puppies from are the “top two percent of USDA breeders.”

The manager’s statement about dogs and puppies being socialized is false. Judging by the scared and unsocialized French Bulldog I saw at the store; Marquez’s breeders are not playing with dogs in grassy yards all day like the Petland videos indicate. Breeders generally never let puppies go outside into play areas, as they are most often kept with their mothers for five to six weeks in whelping pens until they are separated into their own cages and then shipped to pet stores. Furthermore, USDA breeders, including Marquez’s breeders, have dozens or hundreds of dogs, meaning that have numerous puppies at any given time. Virtually all USDA breeders are family-owned and operated, with many breeders having additional farming businesses. They do not socialize every puppy every day as the manager claims.

The employee’s claim that the store spends a quarter million dollars on each dog’s genetic testing is untrue.

The manager’s claim that the store finds a home for every retired breeding dog is also false. Despite having about sixty puppies in the store, only one breeding dog was there. I have been to almost every Petland store that Luis Marquez owns, and the French Bulldog at the Tyler store is the only one I’ve ever seen at one of his stores.

Breeder information obtained while visiting the store

Monroe Herschberger, 10633 250th St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, (641) 929-3103, 42-A-1647 (13 adults, 9 puppies on USDA 08-23-21 inspection).

Breeder information obtained from 2022 and 2023 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection

Amos Bender, 2710 560th St SW, Kalona, IA 52247, unable to find USDA license.

Jacob W. Bontrager, 11271 220th St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1665 (8 adults, 6 puppies on February 15, 2022, USDA inspection).

Country Road Kennels/Ivan H. Mast, 1126 Denison, Fairbank, IA 50629, 42-A-1693 (17 adults, 13 puppies on USDA inspection January 23, 2023).

Vernon Detweiler, 2170 210th St, Seymour, IA 52590, 42-A-1654 (54 adults, 35 puppies on December 7, 2022, USDA inspection).

Wayne and Lucy Gingerich, 2688 Hwy J46, Seymour, IA 52590, unable to find USDA license.

Marvin Hershberger, 15201 202nd St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1655 (8 adults, 6 puppies on February 21, 2023, USDA inspection).

Received USDA violations on February 21, 2023, for vaccines not being stored at proper temperature in refrigerator.

Monroe Herschberger, 16033 250th St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1647 (13 adults, 9 puppies on August 23, 2021 re-license inspection).

Steven and Velma Kurtz, 20709 300th Street, Jamesport, MO 64648, 43-A-6432 (53 adults, 49 puppies) (Kurtz Velma: USDA inspection 03-29-22)

Benjamin Miller, 26040 Rocky, Greentop, MO 63546, no USDA license.

Jay Mullett/Prairie View Kennels, 12025 CR8110, West Plains, MO 65775, 43-A-6410 (97 adults, 46 puppies) (Mullet Jay: Missouri inspection report 11-04-22)

On November 2022 state inspection, received violation for dogs jumping from pen to pen. Dogs must be contained securely.

Eli Schrock, 15379 180th St, Drakesville, IA 52552, 42-A-1558 (27 adults, 7 puppies on November 1, 2022, USDA inspection).

Received violations for puppies not being vaccinated or receiving intestinal parasite treatments and not maintaining accurate medical records of the same on USDA November 1, 2022, inspection.

Ben Schwartz, 14500 Crow Road, Licking, MO 65542, 43-A-6761 (113 adults, 60 puppies) (Schwartz Ben: Missouri inspection report 07-18-22)

Jake Schwartz, 18949 Kofahl Road, Licking, MO 65542, 43-A-6599 (61 adults, 30 puppies). (Schwartz Jake: USDA inspection 03-07-23)

Shady Lawn Kennel/Stephen Schrock, 21893 Driftwood, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1587 (42 adults, 41 puppies on October 20, 2022 USDA inspection).

Simon Schwartz, 17420 Boone Creek Road, Licking, MO 65542, 43-A-6598 (44 adults, 13 puppies) (Schwartz Simon: Missouri inspection 03-30-23).

March 2023 state inspection revealed examinations not up to date.

Stoney Creek Kennel/Ivan Troyer, 18195 200th St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1534 (44 adults, 52 puppies on March 28, 2023, USDA re-license inspection).

Triple Y Kennel/Larry Yoder, 20920 Ice Ave, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1604 (29 adults, 21 puppies on January 26, 2023, USDA inspection).

Daniel D. Yoder, 22475 Hwy 63, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1638 (11 adults, 15 puppies on January 24, 2023, USDA re-license inspection).

Mark Yoder, 15910 240th St, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1577 (65 adults, 80 puppies on USDA re-license inspection dated June 7, 2022).

Marvin Yoder, 24951 Dewberry Ave, Moulton, IA 52572, 42-A-1594 (23 adults, 14 puppies on March 2, 2023, USDA re-license inspection).

Melvin Yoder/Pondview Kennel, 27367 Anchor Way, Greentop, MO 63546, 43-A-6063 (26 adults, 28 puppies). (Yoder Melvin: Missouri inspection 08-11-22)

Mervin Ezra Yoder, 19869 180th Ave, Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-A-1686 (15 adults, 0 puppies on November 2, 2022 USDA inspection).

Broker information obtained from 2023 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection

K9 Partner, LLC, 19162 Harvest Ave., Bloomfield, IA 52537, 42-B-0335 (0 adults, 8 puppies on 04-06-23 USDA inspection). Burt Basi, the owner of K9 Partner, is a lawyer in Longboat Key, FL. He incorporated K9 Partner initially under the name of Family Pets, LLC with the Iowa Secretary of State in October 2020. He is involved with various business ventures with Luis Marquez. The address in Bloomfield is associated with an Amish family named Yutzy. They are most likely running the brokerage facility.

Marquez associates Basi and Juan Fernandez Barquin, Jr., a member of the Florida House of Representatives and clerk of the court and comptroller for Miami-Dade County, are also listed as registered agents on Florida incorporation documents for K9 Partners, Inc., 58-B-0722, 8004 NW 154th St. #232, Miami Lakes, FL, which is a UPS store. K9 Partners, Inc. was set up by lawyer Andrew Rohne of Apex Business Consulting in Marion, IL in 2020.

Officer/Director Detail does not list individuals but companies: Canines and Pooches, Inc., 2020 NW 150th Ave, Suite 300A, Pembroke Pines, FL, Canine Shadows at the same address, and The Dynamic Puppy at the Miami Lakes UPS store address. Marquez also has a company called Pet Care Solutions, Inc. at 8181 NW 154Th St., Miami Lakes, FL.

USDA pre-license inspection reports have the Miami Lakes UPS store address. How can USDA inspect a facility that is run from a UPS store? Marquez has to be holding puppies at some of his pet shops, which is where USDA must be doing inspections.

Luis Marquez, Petland franchise owner

Luis Marquez owns four Petland franchises in Texas: Webster, Woodlands, Tyler and Bellaire (selling puppies in violation of the Houston ordinance). In Florida, he owns seven Petland franchises (two recently closed) and My Puppy Buddy. He took over the Petland franchise in Overland Park, Kansas, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture ordered him to stop selling puppies because of serious violations. Truist Bank in Florida has filed a foreclosure and commercial line of credit default lawsuit against Marquez’ companies. Marquez owns three veterinary clinics called Your Pet’s Vet in Bellaire and Shenandoah (Woodlands), TX and Pembroke Pines, FL, all locations where he has Petland franchises.

Note regarding number of dogs at above breeding facilities

The number of adult breeding dogs and puppies at the above facilities are consistent with being commercial breeding establishments, also known as puppy mills, that mass produce dogs for resale to pet shops. Please refer to the following link (Summary of legal cases defining “puppy mill”) for a summary of legal cases defining the term “puppy mill.”

Lack of USDA violations

The fact that few breeders and brokers have USDA violations does not mean that none exist. During our undercover investigation of USDA-licensed facilities, we document violations. USDA has made it very easy for licenses not to have violations. In response to regulatory ordinances, USDA was using teachable moments, self-inspections and a trial announced inspection program. Their guidelines also instructed inspectors not to cite ear, eye and dental diseases as veterinary care violations. Due to pressure from animal advocates, USDA has terminated these programs. Nonetheless, the citation of violations by inspectors continues to be extremely limited.

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